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SureClad® Delivers Long-Term Good Looks for Manchester Life’s Vesta Street Scheme

3 Nov 2020
Case study

Manchester’s Ancoats and New Islington districts on the edge of the city have successfully achieved a renaissance for a large area of previously redundant mills and industrial buildings, transforming the area into an oasis of modern urban living.

One Vesta Street is the latest residential development to join an eclectic mixing of apartments, townhouses and mill conversions in the area. Developed by Manchester Life Development Company (MLDC), the project will bring 169 new apartments and three townhouses to the eastern edge of the city centre, on the site of a former iron foundry. The development boasts close proximity to both New Islington Marina, the heritage of Ancoats and Manchester’s uber-cool Northern Quarter.

Offering a 24/7 concierge, residents’ clubroom, outdoor amenity space, secure cycle storage and the option to purchase a dedicated parking space, One Vesta Street is a major development that aims to combine the essence of Manchester’s industrial heritage and its 21st century reputation for style and individuality in the specification. Designed by world-renowned Rafael Viñoly Architects, the development is being delivered as a design and build project by Eric Wright Group.

Early engagement between the project team and ventilated façade specialist, Shackerley, led to a change in specification to Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite system, which has enabled the construction of an elegant, creamy-beige residential development with excellent fire safety credentials and without the risk that it will discolour over time.

Long-Term Aesthetics

The eight-storey One Vesta Street apartment block features Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite ventilated system on every elevation, totalling a façade area of 5123m2. The creamy-beige ‘Lopar’ panels provide a natural, grained effect to give a limestone-like appearance to the building.

Switching from GRC to Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite system delivered commercial benefits and reduced the structural loading of the façade system. It also provided advantages in terms of faster installation.

The SureClad® Ceramic Granite panels will also ensure that the building keeps its high quality, contemporary aesthetic for longer. The panels are completely impervious so will not discolour due to weathering or pollution. The Shackerley ceramic granite is also resistant to freeze/thaw damage, U/V, algae and graffiti, so One Vesta Street’s future residents can be confident that their new home will look just as good years from now as it does on the day they move in.


Supply Chain Engagement

Creating a great first impression was such an important part of the design intent and Manchester Life’s goals for the scheme that material selection for the façade was a detailed and involved process. Shackerley provided a number of large samples, with mounted panel sections to demonstrate how the façade would be installed, as well as how it would look. The company then invited members of the project team from Manchester Life, Rafael Viñoly Architects, implementation architects, Chapman Taylor, and Eric Wright Group to the Shackerley production plant in Lancashire.

“We often invite customers to see our ISO 9001:2015 production facilities at our Lancashire headquarters as part of the specification process,” explains Shackerley’s chief executive Brian G Newell. “It’s not only an opportunity for them to physically see the panels, it also enables them to experience how we schedule our factory production and manage quality control so that they can be confident we will produce the façade for their building with consistent quality and reliable scheduling. Every panel type and consignment is given a unique barcode linked to our production system, so everything we dispatch is fully traceable.

“On a project as large and complex as One Vesta Street, this was particularly important as the whole development has been specified and built to exacting quality standards and delivering the programme on time is mission critical.


Complex Installation

The scale of the project has not been the only challenge with production and installation schedules for the façade at One Vesta Street; the design for the façade has involved 280 different SureClad® Ceramic Granite panel sizes, all plotted on the façade design and required on site in line with the installation sequence.

Aston Blake from the project’s cladding contractor, Speedclad Limited, comments: “Each section of the installation involved 12 panel sizes and each configuration of 12 panels was repeated randomly across the façade.

“Installing so many different panel types in such a complex configuration has been like completing a giant 8000 piece jigsaw, but Shackerley’s production team has really worked closely with us to manufacture the panels and store them ahead of time.  This meant that we could simply call off what we needed as the installation progressed and have them delivered to site in time for when we required them, ensuring we could avoid any delays.”

The Speedclad team used both the Queen’s Award winning SureClad® Access installation system and the SureClad® Hang On system to meet the needs of the project.

Aston continues: “Most of this installation used the SureClad® Hang On system because it was more suitable for the random layout of the different panel types. However, for some areas, such as the horizontal banding created by using 1198 x 598 mm panels in a horizontal orientation around the base of the building at ground level, the SureClad® Access system was our preferred option. Having the flexibility to switch between the two was a significant advantage for our team.”

Fire Safety

The design, durability and buildability advantages offered by Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite system at One Vesta Street will ensure that the development creates a lasting first impression of style and quality. The façade system will also provide reassurance for buyers when it comes to safety too, complying with fire safety cladding legislation that has been passed since the project began on site.

Brian G Newell adds: “Fire safety was a clear priority for MLDC and the company stipulated the use of an A1 rated façade system. Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite system is certified as Class A1 to BS EN 13501-1 for fire safety. This not only makes it compliant with current legislation but also offers complete peace of mind on this important safety consideration.”

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